THE salmon fishing season on the River Forss opened on Monday with anglers hoping for a repeat of last year’s record catch.

The river yielded a best ever total of 504 salmon, which included a record weekly haul of 73. Visiting angler Brian Furzer was the star of the season after landing a 27 pound cock fish on April 27.

The honour of launching the 2013 season fell to Highlands and Islands MSP Rhoda Grant.

After ceremonially toasting the river with a dram, she congratulated the owners and managers of the fishery.

Mrs Grant said: “Angling is an important part of our rural culture and economy. It not only creates vital jobs but helps sustain other businesses.

“Angling presents a great opportunity to Scotland. Its true potential as a tourist attraction is still to be realised.”

She added: “Local input and co-operation is the key to success as we have seen here on the Forss River where anglers, riparian owners and local hotels work together to provide a top class facility and attraction.”

Mrs Grant said it is important that those who made their living from the sea also work together to protect fish stocks.

“While we are good at land management, we are not so good at marine management. It is important that all who depend on our marine environment for their living work together to ensure we protect this for future generations.”

John O’Groat Journal